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‘Auntie Christ’

Across the pond, a New York woman has failed in her attempts to sue her 12-year-old nephew over a birthday hug that left her with a broken wrist.

16 October 2015

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Jennifer Connell claimed her nephew, Sean Tarala, had acted negligently when his excitable greeting caused her to fall and break her wrist in 2011.

Connell testified: 'All of a sudden, he was there in the air, I had to catch him and we tumbled onto the ground. I remember him shouting, "Auntie Jen, I love you!" and there he was flying at me.'

The aunt sought $127,000 in damages from the boy, whose mother died last year, telling the court that she had found it 'difficult to hold my hors d'oeuvre plate' at a recent party.

A jury reportedly took just 25 minutes to come to their decision, according to the New York Daily News.

Sean's lawyer, Thomas Noniewicz, said the only thing the boy was guilty of was 'trying to give his aunt a hug on his birthday'.

'Kids will be kids,' Noniewicz said. 'He was an eight-year-old boy being an eight-year-old boy… Sean was not negligent.'

Fantastical cases from the compensation culture of the world are nothing new, but this particular courtroom drama sent ripples through the global media and resulted in Connell being branded a greedy 'Auntie Christ'.

The plot thickened, however, when Connell told CNN on Tuesday that 'this was meant to be a simple homeowner's insurance case', and said her attorney had advised her how the lawsuit ought to be worded.

In Connecticut, those who are not covered by medical insurance might be able to pay medical bills if they are covered under homeowners insurance and can prove liability.

The family, according to CNN, remains tight knit: Connell said she had helped the boy shop for a Halloween costume in the past few weeks.

SJ wonders whether Sean will be dressed as a lawyer after such a frightful few days.

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